Help Losing my flock to some type of predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fresheggs4u, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Songster

    Dec 6, 2007
    Over the last week I have lost 28 of my birds from 6 week old BCM to 1 year old barred rocks All the small bireds are gone nothing but feathers. The older birds are being killed and then drug to the fence and what ever it is can't get them out. the bottom of my fence is buried and I can't find any place that it appears to be broken to allow something in. the fence is 6 ft tall. My birds don't roost in the coop only outside in the warm months. Do you think if i am able to get them in the coop and lock them up that it will discourge whatever is after them and them let them out later they would be safe. I have no idea what it is. I set a live trap last night and caugh a cat. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions?
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    They sleep outside in the run? Is the run covered with hardware cloth? Many preds can easily climb/jump 6 feet.
  3. boogiedog

    boogiedog Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    Where do you live?

    Could be raccoons...
  4. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    A coon will wait until a chicken sticks its head out of the wire and then grab its head. The head comes off and the body stays in the coop. Is that maybe what it looks like?
  5. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    yep probally a coon..

    DH watched as the coon dragged his dead polish up the run and out the top .. about 5' high
  6. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Songster

    Dec 6, 2007
    Sorry for the delay in posting. We live in the upper eastern tennseess area. I installed two strands of electric fence outside my orginal run. It's about 8 inches off the fence and the lower strand is about 4-5 inches off the ground and the next one is about 12 inches off the ground. Do you think this will help? I lost 4 more last night. The smaller birds are completely gone. All but feathers. The older hens are against the fence again.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  7. Spires6

    Spires6 Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    I can sympathize as I have lost almost as many in the past 2 months including a RIR Saturday and a Golden Comet today. There were comet feathers all over the coop today and the comet carcass was stuck in my fence webbing like something tried to pull it through or chased it and it got caught. I seem to have better luck locking them all in at night although there is a small space under the eaves of the coop that I want my husband to close off with boards. I have 40 young chicks to replace my loss but dread putting them out there with the others and won't until I get this problem fixed. My advice is to pen them up in a secure coop every night.
  8. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Songster

    Dec 6, 2007
    i thought about putting mine in the coop tonight. But I installed the electric fence and want to see if it works. At this point I plan to start over. My coop is completely secure, but must be too hot inside. They will roost in the coop in the winter but not summer. Crazy birds! Mine have all been lost since last Thursday. I sure hope the electric fence stops what ever it is. Maybe the varmit will be caught between the electric and the wire fence, so I can determine what it is.
  9. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    My advice is if possible get a dog. I live in Texas, lots of coyotes, possums will come up on my back deck, coons, owls and big cats. Most of my birds free range, they safe places to roost and hide, but my dogs are the trick. I have 4 rescues, all on very long leads.
    I will watch a coyote try to get to the chickens past the GP and it cant do it. All my waterfowl sleep with one of my pitbulls every night.
    Sorry about losing your babies tho, I have had it happen in the past and it is an awful feeling.
  10. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    There is one less coon thanks to my neighbor. I took the dogs out to potty and saw my chickens in the run as far away from the coop as possible. I have a covered run but i've had something getting in and stealing eggs. I had a gourd for a fake egg, it looked like an egg, and it had bitten the end off the gourd leaving teeth marks. I knew it wasn't a snake but didn't know where it was getting in. I found it had broken in near the run door where the wire goes over the run and is connected to the coop. There was a full sized door there before we added the run. We put the fencing along the top of the door. I didn't notice it before and when I saw the size of the coon I knew it wasn't a ferret or something that size so I looked in different places and it happened to be just below where the coon was perched. He was sitting on the ledge just above the run door. Thank goodness the roo got the girls out and the dogs had to potty.

    Many years ago we had a coon that got in the coop by going over the run but it couldn't carry it's dinner out and it tried to pull the chickens thru the fencing. Like what is happening to yours. A covered run will protect them more. Unless like what happened to us and it breaks in.

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